Why would the Nationals non-tender a guy like right-hander Tim Redding, but offer a contract to an injured pitcher such as Shawn Hill?
-- Ross B., Highland, Md.
Hill is a better pitcher than Redding, hands down. Redding was going to cost twice as much as Hill. It depends on what you want-180 mediocre innings or a gamble between probably 50 and 150 excellent or mediocre innings. I like the gamble.
Should the Nats give up on first baseman Nick Johnson because he gets injured every year? I could definitely see the Athletics or Giants come calling in a hurry.
-- Brian F., Sacramento, Calif.
I love Nick. He's a tremendous player and has so much value to the team, putting up the two best individual seasons (according to FJB, at least) in Nationals history in 2005 and '06. But he's been the least valuable player for the last two years, with 38 games played. We just can't afford to count on him anymore, I'm sorry. If there is decent interest in him, trade him. If not, hold on to him, let him build up his value, and then play it by ear from there.
In one of the previous mailbags, you said that Wily Mo Pena is recovering from shoulder surgery and should be ready for Spring Training. But is there any real need for the Nationals to keep him? It seems like they have an abundance of outfielders and Pena wasn't very productive last year.
-- Kristen L., Rockville, Md.
"There isn't a need for Pena. But you have to remember one thing: the Nationals declined a $5 million club option on Pena, who subsequently exercised a $2 million player option for the 2009 season last October." Thank you, Bill.
Any chance the Nationals would sign Dunn to play first base?
-- Fritz S., Rockville, Md.
Well they sure wouldn't signing him to play shortstop...
With Jon Rauch and Chad Cordero gone, who will be the Nationals' closer in 2009?
-- Rodney B., Greer, S.C.
Hanrahan. Don't believe the Fuentes BS...Mr. Lerner must have naked pictures of Ladson to get him to print that.
I know the Nationals don't plan on spending much money on pitching this offseason, so what do you think about bringing Livan Hernandez back? He might not be the best pitcher in the league, but he is a free agent and, if nothing else, he's an innings-eater.
-- Will R., Rose Haven, Md.
If we don't keep Redding at ~$2 mil, we will not bring Livo back at anything more than a minor league deal with a ST invite.
That's all there is...kinda a dissapoingly lame mailbag. Step it up with your questions, blogosphere!
One other note-the live chat with Jim Bowden is tomorrow at 11 am. I will be at work then, but enjoy! I'd appreciate it if someone asked Jim how the complexion of the game would change if trading draft picks were allowed, so if anyone is around the computer and wants to ask, they get an A+ for the day!